Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
July 5, 2022
A meeting of Commissioners of Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County was held at Clark Public Utilities, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington, on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.
Present: President Nancy Barnes, Secretary Jim Malinowski Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Operations Gene Morris, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Director of Water Doug Quinn, Training and Development Manager Gretchen Alexander, Accounting Manager Bryan Johnson and Assistant to CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Staff present via digital conference (phone or video): Dameon Pesanti
Press representatives: None
Others present via digital conference (phone or video) or in person: Don Steinke, Alona Steinke Cathryn Chudy, Rick Marshall, Peter Harrison, Carol Dillin, Tom/Dianna Gordon and Charlene Shefter.
At 9:00 a.m., President Barnes called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business and noted a quorum was present, the agenda was approved as presented (Materials A). Commissioner Van Dyke was excused from the meeting.
The following represents a brief summary of comments made by members of the public in attendance:
Cathryn Chudy shared her concerns surrounding nuclear power, small modular nuclear reactors and the letter of intent Clark Public Utilities signed with Utah Association Municipal Power Systems.
Peter Harrison shared his thoughts on the types of cooling methods for nuclear power plants with his preference being helium cooled. Mr. Harrison does not support Utah Association Municipal Power Systems and their development of small modular nuclear reactors.
If members of the public have provided written comments, copies of these comments in their entirety may be obtained by contacting Margaret Anderson at [email protected] or 360-992-3378.
Consideration of the Minutes of June 21, 2022
There were no changes.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated July 5, 2022 from the District Auditor (Materials C):
Electric Revenue Fund – $17,871,219.43
Water Revenue Fund – $1,419,547.93
Generating System Fund – $1,238,899.83
For a total of $20,529,667.19
Consideration of Establishment of LUD Nos. 1431 and 1440
Director of Engineering Cal Morris addressed the board regarding the Establishment of Local Utility District Nos. 1431 and 1440
Resolution No. 7726 – LUD No. 1431 – Parker’s Landing
Resolution No. 7727 – LUD No. 1440 – 124th Avenue Cottages
After the presentation by Mr. Morris, Commissioner Barnes opened for public comment. There being no comment, a motion was made by Commissioner Malinowski seconded by Commissioner Barnes, and unanimously carried that Resolution Nos. 7726-7727 be adopted. (Materials D).
Consideration of Performance Review and a Resolution for the General Manager Salary
Commissioner Barnes acknowledged the time CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler spent with the board reviewing last year’s performance and discussing goals for the upcoming year. Commissioner Barnes went on praise Ms. Wittler’s performance, specifically being awarded the JD Power award for highest customer satisfaction among midsize electric utilities in the West for the 14th year in a row, and in 2021 tying for best utility nationwide. Commissioner Barnes went on to commend Ms. Wittler in leading staff to address climate change, noting planning is in place to meet state climate mandates ahead of schedule and to make River Road Generating Plant a flexible plant. Prudent power supply management under her leadership has allowed the Utility to set aside $30 million in surplus funds to begin the implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure, all of this while navigating a pandemic. Commissioner Barnes thanked Ms. Wittler and the entire staff at Clark Public Utilities.
Commissioner Barnes read a prepared statement on behalf of Commissioner Van Dyke who was excused from the meeting. Commissioner Van Dyke expressed her pride regarding the impact Clark Public Utilities has in our community, region and nation in support of public power. She appreciates the leadership Ms. Wittler provides in the various public power organizations.
Commissioner Van Dyke pointed out Ms. Wittler’s excellent response with our employees and for the community during the pandemic, and noted that the Utility’s quick work to allocate pandemic funding was thoughtful, well organized and effective. She added that Ms. Wittler and the staff have done an excellent job supporting the policies of the commission in the legislature, meeting CETA goals and requirements, continuing energy efficiency and conservation work, and implementing activities around renewable energy and demand side management.
Commissioner Malinowski said he echoed everything that had already been said but called out his appreciation for how Ms. Wittler and staff managed the pandemic and the care for customers and employees.
Commissioner Malinowski moved to increase Ms. Wittler’s salary to $292,000 annually, continue the $400 a month car allowance, provide 100 hours of comp time in recognition of 2021 Utility goals met and all other benefits provided to Clark Public Utilities employees. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously (Materials E).
Ms. Wittler thanked the board for the time spent reviewing her performance and the robust discussion surrounding upcoming goals for the Utility.
Commissioner Reports and Comments
There were no Commissioner reports.
Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline provided the board with an update on the Department of Commerce’s application process to access funds to address account arrearage related to the pandemic.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided the board with an update on the Utility’s current collection and disconnection process.
Director of Communications Erica Erland provided the board with an update on Utility employees getting back to our community involvement and volunteerism opportunities. Employees will be serving water at the Clark County Fair again, and everyone is looking forward to engaging more with customers out in the community.
There were no additional public comments.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:48 a.m.